Thursday, March 25, 2010
Updated: March 26, 6:27 PM ET
Reaction to "George vs. The Dragon" -- my 24-hour look at Denver Nuggets head coach George Karl's punishing daily cancer treatments -- has been plentiful.
The latest to weigh in is Lance Armstrong, who has won seven Tour de France races after surviving 14 tumors and a 40-percent-chance-to-live prognosis.
Armstrong asked me to pass this message along to Coach Karl:
"Tell him he has to put EVERYTHING on hold. Stop. Nothing. Fight. And rest. No B-ball, no stress. He's too distracted staying up late, etc. Focus on this now so he can coach for years to come."
Karl was rushed to the hospital Sunday after suffering blood clots in his lungs and legs, causing swelling in his legs and breathing difficulty. A filter was installed in his leg to "catch" larger blood clots from heading to his heart.
But one of Karl's doctors, David Trevarthen, said the coach was doing "much better" Wednesday and Thursday.
"I just saw him racing down the hall in a wheelchair going to radiation," Trevarthen said, "with a nurse chasing him. He's a hard guy to keep down."
Trevarthen said Karl has missed only one radiation appointment and therefore is not behind in his treatment. He also said Karl told him he "couldn't watch" the ESPN broadcast of his team against the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night in Boston, a game the Nuggets lost 113-99. "It's very hard for him to watch the game and not have any control," Trevarthen said.
Karl went home Thursday, the doctor said.
Might Karl be able to coach the team again, at least at home, soon? "I'd say that's optimistic," he said. "He needs to spend as much energy as he can fighting the cancer and resting. But if he has some energy left, I think it's OK to focus a little on his team. For a lot of people, it's harder not to work on their daily job. It's stressful."
Karl has not coached the Nuggets since March 16 in Denver. The Nuggets have lost four of their past six games without him on the bench.
See all of Rick Reilly's Epilogues
More random mind dumps from the brain of Rick Reilly. Go Fish!
Be sure to check out Rick's Life of Reilly